L’Chaim! Check out the latest Rabbi rankings.

August 3rd, 2010

Apparently Newsweek ranks the 50 most influential Rabbis in America. Here is their methodology:

The friends devised the following unscientific criteria to rank the leaders, whose specialties range from kashrut to Kabbalah: Are they known nationally/internationally? (20 points.) Do they have political/social influence? (20 points.) Do they have a media presence? (10 points.) Are they leaders within their communities? (10 points.) Are they considered leaders in Judaism or their movements? (10 points. ) How big are their constituencies? (10 points.) Have they made an impact on Judaism in their career? (10 points.) Have they made a greater impact beyond the Jewish community and their rabbinical training? (10 points.)

Eric Muller at the Faculty Lounge has his doubts though:

Newsweek’s ranking methodology is crap. ┬áIt significantly overvalues the total number of brisses performed during the previous year, does not given sufficient credit for the number of bar and bat mitzvahs who go on to confirmation, places too much emphasis on contributions by major donors and not enough emphasis on the total percentage of families donating, and calculates congregation size on the basis of attendance at Kol Nidre rather than the more revealing Neilah closing service.

Let’s hope US News & World Reports enters the field to clear this schmutz up.